Sharpen Your Hatchet While The World Screams

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Milliradian Reticle Primer

I realized that not all may fully grasp what a mil dot/hash reticle with matching turret adjustments brings to the table.

Targeting adjustments are childs play. Milliradian is an angle, not a linear measurement. When you see your impact or splash is low, high, left or right simply measure using the tool in front of your nose... your reticle, hold the same measurement in the opposite direction and instantly you are on.

Alternatively dial the correction on the turret. See you are approximately 3/4 mil right, dial 7 clicks left and you are on. This works at any range or magnification if you have a first focal plane reticle and at max magnification on most second plane reticles.

In addition the ability to switch loads and the corresponding zero in a flash with no BDC telling you how wrong you are is strong medicine. Prior testing and a range card glued in your scope flip cap allows you to switch from M193 to 77g OTM in a flash.

The following is a great primer on how it works and just how versatile and simple it is to bring to bear.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Versatility For The Win

Part of meeting the mission will involve choices in gear and their role in the overall picture. Sometimes specialization will be necessary because certain tasks and needs mandate a very narrow set of parameters.

When considering specific tools it is to your advantage to make choices in gear that are as versatile as possible without compromising critical effectiveness in any one area. While it certainly is possible to choose a tool that is so indefined in its purpose that it becomes ineffective in any use, most of the time you can approach versatility without losing anything overall.

Recently here at Casa de Lawless we have been really narrowing our focus and gear to meet our own needs and to greatly increase our overall effectiveness. Great thought and experimentation has been put into different aspects of this.

One area we refined was to move to digital capable handi talkis for VHF/UHF ham. By moving to DMR capable radios we gave up zero analog performance and gained many abilities. Through DMR repeaters we gain more options in which towers we use. We gained better range because digital radio can discern or hear through the noise much better than any analog signal. We gained the ability to communicate worldwide through IP as long as it is operational. By selling the analog radios this was almost a zero cost upgrade.

We retained analog abilities and gained digital abilities. More versatility wins.

A while back I began to consider the probability of needing longer range weapon capabilities in our preparations. This is a highly subjective area of  weapon performance. The need for these capabilities is highly dependent on your area and terrain. I looked at the need for a specialized bolt rifle or AR system in .308 or 6.5C for the very narrow use of taking a a very long shot. 

After a lot of exhaustive research including talking with several people who make such things their business to understand, I came to a few conclusions, shattered a few illusions and ultimately ended up in a better place. 

It became obvious to me after getting out into the field to evaluate what I actually NEED, that I will never have to take a >500yd shot. I do not live in the plains or in a treeless flat tundra. Furthermore, target ID at that distance is a guessing game at best even if there happened to be a 500yd line of sight. There is a point that self defense becomes murder and distance does play a role in it. 

I already own a certain carbine that was spec'd out as a medium distance build. On it sat what I consider to be one of the most versatile high quality optics ever created. The SWFA SS 1-4 HD. This optic being first focal plane in its design means that its reticle performs an amazing transformation when going through its range of magnification. 

On 1x it functions like a red dot optic. The reticle is a donut with the mil hash crosshair running through it as a ghost aiming point. I am just as fast with this optic as I am with a quality dot like the Trijicon MRO we have on our regular carbines. Its eyebox is forgiving and the eye relief generous so in use it is very simple to use effectively.

On 4x the reticle grows into a mil dot reticle suited for ranging and shot correction. The reticle is true no matter the magnification setting but obviously ranging would be difficult on 1x. The following are not my photos but are from a review of this optic when it came out in 2010.

1x at spitting distance 

1x Illuminated


This was an $800 optic when I bought it years ago and has been upgraded to a 1-6x model at SWFA now and is no longer available. Why was I searching for an answer to a problem I didn't really have? Answer:More's Disease. 

What if I could make our everyday carbines more versatile by removing the Trijicon dots and putting the 1-4x optics in their place? This would mean that a long range (as it pertains to me) weapon would not be needed to be brought to bear in any case because the everyday carbines we carry would have the capability built in. Versatility for the win.... again. 

I got to searching. I took it as a confirmation when I found another one of the optics on a forum I frequent from a gentleman in Texas. It was as new and had sat in a safe its whole life. I made the deal and now my and my wife's identical carbines are capable of being used at spitting distance to 500 plus. 

Now I know I will get comments from eagle eyed young door kickers who can make hits at great distance with a red dot. I am not attempting to disparage dots for you or anyone. What I am attempting to show is that gaining versatility while losing no capability in any one area is doable. Sometimes for little or no cost. 

By making this move, we lost zero capability up close, but gained tons of usability at distance. While we did gain a few oz in weight, it is more than made up for with capability. Cost? Once I sell the dots I will be in the black actually on this deal. 

Meeting the mission we set can be daunting. Sleepless nights and putting much time into such things can make it seem impossible to get it right sometimes. Well, you won't get it right every time. We learn as we go and our needs can change with time. Also as new technologies emerge we may find that making a switch gains us capabilities not imagined when we bought equipment in years past. Don't be hung up on certain concepts and ideas. Everyone jumped on the idea of red dot optics years ago because we read about people clearing houses in the Middle East and everything seemed to be based on that metric. Technology has shifted and giving up performance at any set range to gain it at another is no longer the rule. 

As you reevaluate your mission and how you meet it, I wish you success and hope somehow I have spurned you toward meeting that mission the best way possible. Define it, decide on your performance level expected, meet it with the most versatility possible. 

As Pete from WRSA says, All of this will be on the final exam. 

Tick Tock

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Point of Diminishing Returns

Moving along from Meeting The Mission, we need to also understand that every mission has a point where further efforts and funding net little difference. Like everything in life, some balance is the key to success and progress toward your goals. Sure, that new Kenwood HF rig in your HRO catalog is really nice but does it allow you to chat with your radio group somehow better than your old one? Will a new Glock 19 Gen 5 give you a real advantage over your Gen 4 (preaching at myself here...)?

If you are rolling in money and just looking for a place to spend it then I probably am not talking to you. If you are like most people and work within a budget, listen up for a few minutes and understand that Meeting the Mission also requires being smart with your time and money.

I have been putting away dry goods in 2L soda bottles for quite some time. I will do a post on this soon but basically a 50lb bag of rice will fit nicely into about 13-13.5 2L soda bottles. 50lbs of rice at Costco is about $14, the bottles we save and get from others (diet only so no sticky bottles) and 100 small 100cc O2 absorbers are $10 on Ebay. We do other grains and cereal the same way. Rice and grits go a loooonnng way. Would I gain anything by buying expensive 5g pails of grain ready to store? Would I gain anything by slowly switching to a famous brand "emergency food"?

Seems obvious doesn't it? Why then will we take a perfectly usable and functional weapon that does meet our mission and spend money to get a newer model that does not net us any measurable difference? All the while our goals of getting a functional HF Ham radio go unmet or our need for being debt free has not been attacked. Weapons are more glamorous than rice and pull our emotional chains (especially men) so we get "more's disease. Now I am not talking about getting rid of revolvers for Glocks or standardization of platform in your tribe. If you settle on the AR for your tribe then selling your Saiga has to happen. But, do you really need to move your PSA to buy a LMT?

I am really getting into long range shooting as a skill and am concentrating on 22lr now as a primer and because rimfire is far more useful than most realize. Do I need a $2500 Remington 40x and a $2000 US Optics scope to shoot 300 yards? While we all dream of owning the best, it can not be practical to spend that much money for the tiny performance difference it offers....especially when we have so many other things that need attention. More's Disease is a real thing and it can really foul up our overall prepping progress and health.

On the other side of that coin, throwing away money on junk is not the answer either. That no name water filter for $7.95 on ebay with free Epacket shipping from Asia is probably not the correct answer. Here, spending $30 for a genuine Monolithic brand is wise as it is a known good product with no questions attached.

Balance, it ain't just for skateboarding and gymnastics. Learning to allocate your resources to meet your mission takes some thought, planning and research. Failing here has been the downfall of many but it does not have to hurt your progress from here forward. The next 2.5 years could be the most pivotal in our history. Make the most of it.

Tick Tock

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Meeting The Mission

This may seem to be a jumbling together of ideas. It is somewhat difficult for me to put into words so please excuse my lack of ability to get this concept across.

I know a guy who is a retired combat engineer and an absolute gun hoarder. I was once absolutely amazed when at a meetup he pulled enough weapons of vastly differing types from his vehicle to outfit a platoon. From a 22TCM handgun to suppressed SBRs, he has it all.

While I and others joke with him about it all the time I certainly do not care what people of means spend money on. There is however an argument to be made for the prepper to consolidate their efforts into what is practical.

Most of us have a budget to live day to day and sacrifice in other areas to be able to put things away for future use. We forego things the rest of the world may chase to bank items and training toward an uncertain future. That is the reality of prepping.

Many of us however are putting effort and money into items and lifestyles that do not help us to reach a defined goal or meet any certain mission. Many of us have yet to even define the mission itself and without a definition, meeting it is impossible. All the while time is slipping by and while we were granted a reprieve months ago, this is not the time to rest. This is the time to push our hardest as it probably will get progressivly harder from here and now.

A few years ago I had quite the collection of early Smith revolvers and even earlier Winchester rifles. I enjoyed collecting them and learning about the differing models and such. Thousands of dollars were invested in these guns, and rarely did I shoot them.

Pre-K22 I owned

I had a few epiphanies during the 2008-2016 years. Over the course of a few months my mind began to ponder the wisdom of owning these fine antiques when none of them filled a need or equipped me for any mission. Meanwhile, my goal of having the tools needed to meet my mission of being equipped to face violence in an unknown future were not met. This collection was a hobby that was preventing me from being able to meet my mission. Prepping requires serious tools. Prepping requires defining the mission. 

I slowly liquidated that collection and every firearm I own now is a tool. Not only that, each is a tool renowned for reliability and ruggedness. They meet the mission of an unknown violent future. Easy to operate, accurate, tough, modern cartridges and components. Tools. 

What about you, the human? What are you carrying around physically and mentally that does not meet the mission? 


Poor conditioning? 

Outdated ideas? 

Not training? 

Chasing this world and its idea of success? 

Putting everything under the sun before your supposed goals? 

When we do not focus on meeting the mission we cannot possibly be prepared. Approaching preparedness from an extremely generalized POV is fine when you first realize that all is not well. Not being razor focused when first beginning this journey is actually encouraged by myself and others. It is possible to be too concerned with specialization when a broader view is more prudent. New preppers can get analysis paralysis but us more seasoned people should be able to understand the realities of this lifestyle and narrow the focus toward higher goals. 

At a point, we need to cut from our lives that which is not helping us reach the goal of being as prepared as we can be for the most likely events. We are much more effective when we narrow our focus toward goals and define our desired end point. We have just so much focus we can offer our 360 degree view of the world. Our resources are limited and must be allocated to meeting the mission we define as we see fit. Your mission and mine may differ, but our aggressive pursuit of it is a requirement. 

What can we do? 

1-Define the mission. What is the goal? Write it down, memorialize it. Cement it. 

2-Assess what shortcomings you have in equipment, training, funds allocation, where you live and any other area you can think of. Be brutally honest. 

3-Remove, sell, trade, or toss items that were meant to prepare but do not meet the mission you have now. This is not the time for sentimentality. Procure the items that meet the mission. Don't get lost here. Stay on point.

4-Stop behavior that defeats the mission and begin behavior that enables the mission. If it is counterproductive, stop. If it moves you toward the goal, begin.

5-Focus all effort toward the mission that is possible. It isn't going to meet itself. It comes down to you bud. Just you.

This works in life in general...It is absolutely necessary to a successful preparedness lifestyle.

It is basic OODA thinking.

Time is MUCH shorter than most believe.

Tick Tock

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sorry about comments

Folks for some reason, I was not being notified about comments on my posts. I have posted all of your comments and want you to know I appreciate them and you as a reader here.

I have enabled moderation free comments and as long as people behave like adults it can stay that way.

Much more to come and some new projects in the works.

Tick Tock

PS Mr. Jeter I would be glad to read your book, email me at

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Adventures in Rimfire Pt 5

Shot a little yesterday in the back yard and with the new glass on the Ruger American Rimfire we saw a new best group of  .116

With the zero set at 25 yds, I decided to zero the turrets by removing them and reinstalling them back at the "zero" mark on the dial.

I watched this video about a zero stop and decided to see if I could get close to my "zero" mark with washers. I was able to get within 5 (1/2 mil) so I called it good. I used 2 regular 5/16 steel washers and it simply worked out.

What this means is if I have the elevation turret cranked out to some longer range and want to quickly go back to my 25yd zero, I just crank the dial down until it stops, then back off about 1/2 mil to my "0" on the dial. It simply makes it quick to go back down without over running past my preferred zero, no serious looking or concentration required.

Turret dial removed

Washers added

Everything back together and dialed down until it 
stops against the zero stop shims

Turned back 5 to "zero" 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Adventures in Rimfire Pt. 4

The Ruger American I call SK2.0 is still in progress. In a previous post I showed how well it shot with a few modifications and decided it deserved better optics and a restock in something more ridgid. So, last week I ordered everything I needed to reglass it. I found a slightly used Primary Arms 4-14FFP mil/mil scope on an auction site (Primary Arms shows none in stock on the mildot version) and had it sent. My DIP 25MOA base, Vector low rings and the scope arrived today. Scope is very bright, focus works well and reticle is sharp. I put the rifle in my vise with a towel to protect it and then installed the base with blue loctite. 

I then leveled the base with the level in my phone and retightened the vise. It is important that the scope not be canted in relation to the rifle because as you dial elevation your rounds will go to one side or the other. It is quite amazing how well the phone levels work. Whatever level you use, be sure to orient it the same way when leveling the base and then scope in case there is some error. As long as the level is oriented the same way any error won't matter as it will be the same for the rifle and optic. 

I had previously put the rings on the scope and set my eye relief to where I wanted by positioning the scope fore and aft where the image was clear and my cheek was in the proper position on the stock. I installed the whole assembly on the rifle and slowly began to tighten everything down while I made sure the scope stayed level with the rifle. I went from screw to screw in a pattern multiple times until everything was tight. 

I like it a lot. This scope and canted base should allow me to shoot anywhere from close to as far as .22lr is capable. Now I need to choose a stock for it.

A word on scopes. For dialing out to longer ranges, a scope with a mil reticle and mil adjustments is the only way to fly. Having the reticle match the adjustment is important. Non-matching reticle/adjustments would be like measuring a 2x4 with inches and then trying to cut it in millimeters, math is required and it's just silly. Don't buy a mildot scope with MOA Turrets. 

If a variable, a FFP (first focal plane) scope is what you want. A FFP scope keeps the reticle the same in relation to the target no matter what power you are using. Range a target on 4 power or 10 power and the range is the same. SFP (second focal plane) scopes must be used on the highest power (or the power the manufacturer determines) to be accurate for ranging or elevation/windage correction using the mildots. In a SFP scope the reticle stays the same size in the scope at all powers. In a FFP scope the reticle grows and shrinks with power changes. 

FFP scopes are getting easier to find. Take the time to find one you like with a mildot reticle and turrets and either side focus adjustment or adjustable objective. On a rimfire a way to remove parallax with either of these focus adjustment methods is critical to be able to shoot accurately from short range to long. 

Now Boyds Pro Varmint or AtOne stock.... 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Will to Prep Yourself

We preppers are a strange lot sometimes. We buy food and water filters and meds along with all kinds of gear and weapons.... Then many times it all just sits, waiting for the go signal. 

I have news, you won't be able to shoot like Marky Mark or move like Keanu Reeves or save lives like Alan Alda just because you have the gear. That Baofeng in your bag that you never use because you are not licensed won't magically contact your tribe and never mind that HF radio you bought but never operate  

We all have fell into this trap at times. We all suffer from normalcy bias and tend to get stuck in the business of living our lives. It's natural  don't get me wrong, but it can also lead to not being able to actually do what all these preps supposedly give us the ability to accomplish ... survive and protect. 

I have alluded a few times to my commitment for 2018 of prepping me, the man. I want to hone and sharpen to razor quality my abilities and knowledge and make myself the ultimate implement I will use. 

This is not easy. It means PT, paying for classes, reading and doing (not just reading) and putting into action an actual plan for all of this that is actually doable. Setting a goal of being John J Rambo by December 31st is not achievable and will cause me to become discouraged pretty quickly. Putting goals in place that are well thought out and then making every effort to see it through will inspire confidence and act to push me (and you) harder. To quote a quirky 80s teen movie "I think once you taste success, you will find it suits you"  

So, this year I started shooting IDPA, I joined with a group of friends in seeking out quality training in med and tac subjects, began serious PT and started learning long range shooting as a serious subject. 

There is more and I hope to come away with having learned a great deal as well as training the lizard side of my brain to act instinctively in many more things to leave the thinking side free to do more important things. 

We were given a reprieve when DJT was elected and what many did was simply stop preparing. We need to be pushing, gaining ground and using this precious time rather than sitting on our rumps taking a breather. Time is wasting my friends, we are still spinning out of control no matter who is at the wheel.

Tick Tock. 

Kidd Rock

For reasons.... I decided I needed a .22lr that would be the base for a project that would meet several specific criteria. This rifle would need to be capable of hunting, winning matches as well as putting lead into a hat at up to 300 yards once the balloon goes up. Don't question me as to this criteria, just come along for the ride and buckle up sweetie. The Hoppes and tinfoil is included on this trip so, if you're ready......

My brother-from-another-mother has birthed into several of us the desire for accurate and capable rimfire rifles. I have wanted a CZ 455 Tacticool or Precision Trainer for a good while and my first inclination was to just go ahead and get one. I mean, everyone knows bolty guns are mo betta.... right?

The .22 demi-god from the far west though began whispering in my ear "semi-auto is a force multiplier" and "10-22s can be hammers with top quality parts".... Before you know it I am looking at 10-22T models. They are $400+ and other than the heavy barrel... Meh. Regular stocks and triggers with questionable barrels that end up being a lottery.

Then, while perusing some in-state classifieds, I saw it. A nicely built 10-22 with all Kidd Innovative Designs internals and their 20" stainless match barrel in a black Boyd's Pro Varmint stock. It was a good price for what was some really expensive stuff. 

I waffled. I could get a 455 Tacticool for less...

"... force multiplier..."

I contacted the guy again and told him to mail it to me. 
He obliged and it got here today. 

It. Is. Magnificent.

I will update the thread as I glass it and shoot it. 
I have high hopes for this thing. Its name is ForMul 1.0

So another project is in the works, I bought another .22. This one however is not at all ordinary or cheap. This was a benchrest gun that was owned by someone who got out of that game. All Kidd Innovative Designs components except the factory Ruger receiver. It sits in a Boyds Pro Varmint stock, aluminum block bedded with rear tang bolt and has an EGW 20MOA scope base to make use of the 20" stainless Kidd Match Barrel. It has less than 1000 throught it, has shot one hole 50 yard groups and 6" steel at 300+ for giggles. 

I am working on glass and other finishing touches. Stay tuned for more updates. 

If you do not understand the importance of .22lr in a bad event consider the utility, the ease of suppression and ability the lowly cartridge has to penetrate. 

Read this while you're at it.

Then in the 1990s the Russians noted that Chechen snipers were effectively using .22 LR (long rifle, them little bullets kids use to hunt squirrels and rabbits with) weapons. Inside towns and cities, the .22 LR sniper was very effective, especially since the Chechens would improvise a very workable silencer by putting a plastic bottle on the end of the rifle's barrel, with a hole in the bottom of the barrel for the bullet to exit. Using a cheap scope, Chechen snipers were very deadly at ranges of less than a hundred meters. Such ranges were pretty common in built up areas. And since you usually did not hear the shot (to the head or face, of course), you had a hard time finding the shooter.
Having suffered from these low tech .22 caliber Chechen snipers for ten years, the Russians have come out with their own professional .22 LR sniper rifle, the SV-99. This is a little heavier (at 3.8 kg/8.3 pounds) than your usual .22 LR rifle but is built for professionals. It has a heavier barrel, a bipod, silencer, and scope. It's a meter (39 inches) long and can accept five, eight, or ten round magazines. There is a compartment in the butt stock for two five round magazines. With the SV-99, at a hundred meters, a skilled shooter can consistently put all rounds in a 12mm (half inch) circle. This is a specialist weapon, most likely used by commandos. But any trained sniper can quickly adapt to using it. And snipers like not being heard.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Hail To The Chief

I have been using kydex holsters for years. Plastic has proven to be durable and comfortable but sometimes.... 

A man sometimes has a yearning for finely tooled leather with perfect stitches, beveled edges and that smell. The smell of leather is one of those things that is hard to put into words but if you know it, I don't need to describe it anyway. 

Chief Jason Holsters started here locally on one of the iterations of Carolina gun forums. He has constantly improved and fine tuned his craft until now he is as fine a tooler of leather as there is. I contacted him a little while back and asked for a standard cant pancake holster and a horizontal magazine carrier in antique brown. 

The finished product is simply stunning. The stitches are perfect. The lines and cuts are without flaw. The fit, while tight, is right where a new holster should be. The leather used is stiff, really stiff, and is exactly what you want in a carry holster to keep it close to your body. 

If you are looking for a quality piece of leather to carry your EDC,  I heartily recommend Chief's gear as a quality option that is fairly priced and exquisitely made.

You can contact Jason via Ebay @

Friday, February 2, 2018

Magpul GL Enhanced Magwell

Recently I was made aware of a product from Magpul that is simply amazing in its simplicity and function. If you own a 3rd or 4th gen Glock you need a Magpul GL Enhanced Magwell for it.

These little hunks of polymer and brass are designed to help get magazines into your Glock faster but do it without being obnoxious or getting in the way of actually carrying the pistol.

I recently started participating in IDPA shooting. If you have never visited a match what are you waiting for? Shooting under the simulated stress of a timer in the fun and sometimes goofy scenarios of IDPA is a fine way to test yourself and equipment before it is for keeps in some dark parking lot.

One thing IDPA forces you to face is magazine changes. No matter the gun used, the rounds per mag are limited to 10 for most stages. Us Glock guys, ever confident in our magazine capacity, learn quickly that magazine changes are not just for 1911 shooters.

Getting the gun and magazine into your "work space", right in front of your face, is important and practice makes perfect. Most of us practice shooting but fewer are practiced in mag swaps (not to mention shooting on the move). Fumbles happen. It is bad enough when it happens on a stage or range but happening in a real deal fight could be deadly.

Magwells are not just for race guns any more. The Gen 5 Glocks have a flared magwell from the factory and recently Magpul has created a magwell that is thin and super light but an invaluable aid in getting the magazine home every time.

The video is hilarious (taxation is theft) but the product is serious. I ordered one for my and my wife's 4th Gen Glock 19s and after installing them I am sold. They slide on and secure with a supplied allen head cap screw and once installed are as solid as if they were an integral part of the pistol. They make the old grip plugs obsolete by utilizing that space as part of the funnel while giving the trigger parts the same protection from dirt. 

An added benefit of installing one of these on a G19 is that it adds a little more grip for us folks with large hands. Not so much a factor for Mrs. Lawless but I certainly appreciate it and the difference cannot be overstated. I grip the pistol better with this in place. 

I have seen my mag changes in practice become markedly faster and my confidence has gone up which makes the whole process better. It seems to suck mags into the gun with precision. Using them under stress will make a difference in speed and we all know speed/accuracy is what wins gunfights. 

For the $22ea shipped I paid these are a no-brainer. 
Well played Magpul, well played indeed. 

Adventures in Rimfire pt3

It's a shooter.

Over the course of the modifications I have been finding which ammo the rifle likes. Some were a surprise and some disappointed. After cutting the barrel, my go-to squirrel load was changed. The rifle no longer liked it and the groups were not even consistent in their failing.

.22s are very picky about what ammo they like. Some expensive brands seem to be less rejected but even among true match ammo a rifle will love or hate based on such things as planetary alignment and how the price of wheat straw is doing....

This particular rifle has settled on 2 loads for different purposes. My go-to squirrel load is now PMC Moderator Hollow Point.... Which is no longer manufactured. I bought a brick several years ago and never opened it. Reportedly it was made by Aquilla and was a match ammo by another name.

The Moderator shot a best group so far of .300 from a cheapie bipod at a distance of 25 tape measured yards from prone.

This now is what the rifle is zeroed with and it is death on tree rats. It is quiet and consistent but not the rifle's favorite so far...that honor goes to the Brits... 

I have several kinds of Eley ammo here but had recently picked up a box of Contact, which is a 42G solid. It immediately printed a fantastic .168 @ 25yds from prone. 

You can see some other groups there of Remington Subsonic and CCI Quiet which can be good... just not in this particular rifle. A sub 1/4" group from a skinny barrel sporter in a plastic stock and 4x scope? I'll take it all day. 

I am not done with this rifle. I plan to drop it in a Boyds laminate stock with real bedding of the action blocks and a better scope. It is just too good of an opportunity to let this rifle be something I will be very proud to use for years. 

I have purchased a 10-22 Kidd build from a former 100yd benchrest shooter and will be working with it soon as well. .22lr is quite the addiction, I should know as I have suffered with it for 40 years or so. 

Get out there and shoot. Time is wasting. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Adventures in Rimfire pt2

As is often the case with me, we as men are afflicted with a predisposition to tinker. I read a lot about these Ruger American Rimfire rifles and it seems that great (really great) accuracy is doable with some almost free work at home.

The trigger is factory adjustable down to the 3lb zone by removing the action from the stock and turning a screw to change trigger spring tension. The trigger has a blade like Savage's Accutrigger so it is a really safe system with a tang safety that physically blocks trigger movement. It is a crisp break as supplied but for putting lead on little heads, a lighter weight is needed.

I found that a lot of people were putting lighter trigger return springs in these and getting wonderful results. So I followed this guy's video and replaced the spring with a spring from a pen, cut to length and then adjusted the tension to end up with a wonderful trigger at almost exactly 1lb on my Wheeler gauge. It is drop/bump safe and the blade has to be pressed to get it to fire. It is simply wonderful and helps put rounds to POA like a bench gun.

The trigger addressed, the rifle was way more accurate and once I found the ammo it liked (Eley Subsonic Hollow and PMC Moderator) it was doing really well at 25yds.

I read that the bolt was machined fairly rough on the bottom side of these which can result in deforming the rounds under it in the magazine when cycling the bolt. Deforming a .22 nose will result in flyers and patterns. I stoned and sanded the bottom of the bolt where it glides over the cartridges in the mag. I beveled the leading edge and rounded it slightly to remove the sharp edges as well. 

I took the magazine and reduced tension on the rotor to 4 "flats" instead of the factory adjustment which is pretty tight. This also allows the bolt to move easier while being enough tension to keep cartridges in the correct position for feeding. 

The above link recommends 6 flats for a 10-22 auto but a bolt gun does not need that level of tension. 

I also polished the magazine's feed lips and bullet guide. 

The result was SUPER slick feeding and perfect placement of rounds into the chamber. Bolt cycling is effortless and at only 60 degrees bolt lift, it is fast to operate. The bullet tips show zero scratches or scrapes now, the results should be fewer groups opened up by an odd uncalled flyer. 

Another area of needed work is keeping the action still in the stock. These rifles have aluminum blocks in the stocks and pillars to bed the action. Plastic stocks made on production lines however have to have some room to accept parts with some tolerance. The old trick of "tape bedding" can be used to see how a rifle will react to permanent bedding without taking a step that can't be reversed. 

I took aluminum HVAC tape and wrapped the bedding blocks in 2 layers to tighten the fit in the stock. This stopped all the wiggling around and should help accuracy by not allowing the action to move around when firing. 

This is what the blocks look like. They rest on brass pillars in the stock and are a friction fit. 

Plastic stocks can also be easy to flex in the front and contact the barrel. This wreaks havoc on consistency. I got out my air die grinder and a carbide bit and opened up the channel on each side and under the tip of the stock. I got about an 1/8th" gap which should keep the barrel free floating. 

If the gun shoots, I plan to upgrade to a scope with more magnification that is parallax adjustable and put the action in a Boyds laminate stock. 

To be continued....